104 Dad Quotes That Will Make You Smile - Baby Chick
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104 Dad Quotes That Will Make You Smile

Whether you're looking for something sweet, inspiring, or funny, we have a great list of the best dad quotes! Check them out!

Updated April 22, 2024

I often hear quotes about parenting that causes some impressive eye rolls. My favorite is “Kids don’t come with a manual,” which is technically accurate until you realize hundreds of articles and blogs are written about parenting daily. There are also far more helpful quotes that come from parents, particularly dad quotes.

As a dad to a recently turned two-year-old, I decided to do some digging so I could be prepared to share wisdom with my daughter. It may not be my wisdom, but it’s wisdom all the same. Here are some of my favorite dad quotes:

The Best Dad Quotes

Funny Dad Quotes 

1. “A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” – Steve Martin, comedian

2. “Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.” – John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

3. “If you’re not yelling at your kids, you aren’t spending enough time with them.” – Mark Ruffalo, actor

4. “Having one child makes you a parent. Having two kids makes you a referee.” – David Frost, journalist

5. “A child, like your stomach, doesn’t need all you can afford to give it.” – Frank A. Clark, politician

6. “Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.” – Red Buttons, actor

7. “People ask what it’s like to have four kids, and I just tell them, ‘picture that you’re drowning, then someone hands you a baby.'” – Jim Gaffigan, comedian

8. “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” – Harry Truman, 33rd President of the United States

9. “Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare.” – Ed Asner, actor

10. “There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feed the hand that bites you.” – Peter De Vries, novelist

11. “There should be a children’s song: ‘If you’re happy and you know it, keep it to yourself and let your dad sleep.'” – Jim Gaffigan, comedian

12. “When you’re young, you think your dad is Superman. Then you grow up, and you realize he’s just a regular guy who wears a cape.” – Dave Attell, comedian

13. “You have a little girl. She looks up to you. You’re her oracle. You’re her hero. And the day comes when she gets her first permanent wave and goes to her first real party, and from that day on, you’re in a constant state of panic.” – Stanley T. Banks, Father of the Bride

14. “It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.” – John Sinor, columnist

15. “The important thing is that the mistakes you make with your kids are the same ones your parents made with you. At least you know how those turn out.” – Stephen Colbert, author, in his book I Am America

16. “I would say the hardest thing about being a parent is these goddamned kids.” – Andy Richter, comedian

17. “In the ‘looks of disappointment’ department, my cat has picked up where my father left off.” – Tom Papa, comedian

18. “I think every kid thinks their dad is goofy. Even Johnny Depp’s kid must be like, ‘Oh my god, my dad with those freakin’ scarves. This isn’t a pirate ship; it’s a Costco, dad.'” – Judd Apatow, film director/producer

19. “My daughter got me a ‘World’s Best Dad’ mug. So we know she’s sarcastic.” – Bob Odenkirk, actor

20. “You don’t need drugs when you have a baby. You’re awake, you’re paranoid, you smell bad . . . it’s the same thing.” – Robin Williams, comedian

21. “I rescind my earlier statement, ‘I could never fall in love with a girl who regularly poops her pants.’ I hadn’t met my daughter yet.” – Dax Shephard, actor/podcast host

22. “The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents – because they have a tame child-creature in their house.” – Frank Zappa, singer/comedian

23. “Kids are hilarious. They say the darndest things, but that’s just because they don’t know what they’re saying and that just makes much more funniness happen.” – Kenan Thompson, comedian

24. “The worst part about being a parent is when one of your kids’ farts and you have to pretend it wasn’t cool.” – Rob Delaney, comedian

25. “I want my son to wear a helmet 24 hours a day. If it was socially acceptable, I’d be the first one to have my kid in a full helmet and like a cage across his face mask.” – Will Arnett, actor

26. “Having children is like living in a frat house – nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” – Ray Romano, actor/comedian

27. “For fatherhood advice, try to look your child in the eye . . . get to know their name; that becomes important when you want something. And remember to feed them. That’s about all you need.” – Will Ferrell, actor

28. “A 2-year-old is like having a blender, but you don’t have the top for it.” – Jerry Seinfeld, comedian

29. “If anyone else [deprived you of this much sleep], you’d have them up at The Hague for war crimes.” – Tom Hardy, actor

30. “Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.” – Jack Handey, humorist

31. “It is so embarrassing how I went from a person who did not care about anyone’s children. Then you have them, and you brag about the same stuff that you never cared about. And you tell people, ‘he’s got four teeth,’ like they care.” – Seth Meyers, comedian

32. “You have to be adaptable because they consistently keep changing. They’ll do something that blows your mind, and then they’ll spit all their food on the carpet.” – Neil Patrick Harris, actor

33. “He’s looking for danger at all times. We’re just trying to keep him alive.” – Jason Sudeikis, actor

34. “There’s no real class. They don’t check to make sure you’re prepared. I had to go through more training to drive the car home [from the hospital] than I did to have a baby for the rest of my life.” – Colin Hanks, actor

35. “Men should always change diapers. It’s mentally cleansing. It’s like washing dishes, but imagine if the dishes were your kids, so you really love the dishes.” – Chris Martin, musician

36. “Everybody usually wants to be famous so they can rock nice jewelry and all that. Man, I already got a macaroni necklace. I got valuable shit.” – Dave Chappelle, comedian

37. “12 weeks old: when your kid is young enough to fall asleep on your chest yet long enough to kick you in the nuts at the same time.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor/singer

38. “Booking plane tickets for my family trip is a fun little test to see if I still remember all my kids’ birthdays and genders.” – Ken Jennings, Jeopardy champion

39. “When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, ‘Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?’ He answered, “If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.'” – Jerry Lewis, comedian

40. “Just taught my kids about taxes by eating 38% of their ice cream.” – Conan O’Brien, comedian

Sweet Dad Quotes

1. “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” – Ruth E. Renkel, writer

2. “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham, evangelist

3. “Having a kid is like falling in love for the first time when you’re 12, but every day.” – Mike Myers, actor

4. “I watch my daughter wanting to be like other kids and getting upset that she’s not. But I always try and instill in her the idea that she’s perfect as she is.” – Idris Elba, actor

5. “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” – Wade Boggs, baseball player

6. “The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.” – Dan Pearce, singer/songwriter

7. “A father is a man who expects his children to be as good as he meant to be.” – Carol Coats

8. “It is a wise father that knows his own child.” – William Shakespeare, playwright

9. “When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.” – Linda Poindexter, writer

10. “A good father will leave his imprint on his daughter for the rest of her life.” – Dr. James Dobson, evangelist/author

11. “The best fathers have the softest, sweetest hearts. In other words, great dads are real marshmallows.” – Richelle E. Goodrich, author, in her book Slaying Dragons

12. “It’s the greatest thing on Earth. As soon as this child was born, I immediately wanted to call my parents and just apologize because I never knew how much they loved me.” – Ashton Kutcher, actor

13. “I believe what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” – Umberto Eco, author

14. “A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men.” – Gregory E. Lang, author, in his book Why a Daughter Needs a Dad

15. “The power of dad in a child’s life is unmatched.” – Justin Ricklefs, journalist

16. “Everything just gets heightened when you have a baby. The volume gets turned up on life. I never knew I could be this happy, and that’s the truth.” – Jimmy Fallon, comedian

17. “Father’s Day is hopefully a time when the culture says ‘this is our moment to look at who our men and boys are.'” – Michael Gurian, philosopher

18. “When humans started to call me ‘Dad.’ That’s the word that gets me. Because you’re famous to a billion people, but only three people call you ‘Dad.'” – Dana Carvey, comedian

19. “When you’re a dad, there’s no one above you. If I don’t do something that has to be done, who is going to do it?” – Jonathan Safran Foer, author, in his book Here I Am

20. “Dads regard themselves as a giant shock absorber, there to protect the family from the ruts and bumps on the road of life.” – W. Bruce Cameron, author, in his book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

21. “I’m probably the most uncool guy that [my daughters] know – as far as they are concerned anyway – ’cause I’m Dad. I mean dads just aren’t cool – especially when I dance! They don’t want me to dance.” – Tim McGraw, musician

22. “Fathering makes a man, whatever his standing in the eyes of the world, feel strong and good and important, just as he makes his child feel loved and valued.” – Frank Pittman, author

23. “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain, author

24. “You gotta be really deliberate with how you choose to spend your day because those are the moments you’re away from your child.” – Mahershala Ali, actor

25. “I feel that the greatest gift that I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are.” – Will Smith, actor

26. “This little soul that you’re feeding and you’re changing and you’re bathing and you’re telling bedtime stories to is a blank canvas.” – Sir Elton John, singer

27. “In my career, there are many things I’ve won, and many things I’ve achieved. But for me, my greatest achievement is my children and my family.” – David Beckham, soccer player

28. “My daddy was my hero – he was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things, but most of all he was fun.” – Bindi Irwin, conservationist

29. “The only way I can describe [fatherhood] – it sounds stupid, but – at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you know how his heart grows like five times? Everything is full; it’s just full all the time.” – Matt Damon, actor

30. “It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” – Friedrich Schiller, playwriter

31. “When you have kids, there’s no such thing as quality time. There’s just time. There’s no, ‘Ooh, his graduation’s better than going to the mall.’ It’s all kind of equal. Changing her diaper and her winning a contest – it’s all good.” – Chris Rock, comedian

32. “I’ve never been part of anything so great as those three kids.” – Al Roker, TV personality

33. “I’m a lot more emotional than I used to be. I never used to get too wound up or worried about things. But now the smallest little things, you well up a little more, you get affected by the sort of things that happen around the world or whatever a lot more, I think, as a father.” Prince William, royal family

Quotes About Dad

1. “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” – Charles Wadsworth, classical pianist

2. “You can tell what was the best year of your father’s life because he seems to freeze that clothing style and ride it out.” – Jerry Seinfeld, comedian

3. “My mother protected me from the world, and my father threatened me with it.” – Quentin Crisp, author/humorist

4. “My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do.” – Michael Jordan, basketball player

5. “The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.” – Tim Russert, journalist

6. “My dad always taught me to never be satisfied, to want more, and know that what is done is done.” – Thierry Henry, soccer player

7. “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano, college basketball coach

8. “My mother gave me my drive, but my father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.” – Liza Minnelli, actress

9. “If you ever want to torture my dad, tie him up and right in front of him, refold a map incorrectly.” – Cathy Ladman, comedian

10. “It was my father who taught me to value myself. He told me that I was uncommonly beautiful and that I was the most precious thing in his life.” – Dawn French, actress

11. “Being a daddy’s girl is like having permanent armor for the rest of your life.” – Marinela Reka, author

12. “My father is my rock. It’s where I learned everything about loyalty, dependability, being there day in, day out, no matter what.” – Hugh Jackman, actor

13. “My father didn’t do anything unusual. He did what dads are supposed to do – be there.” – Max Lucado, author

14. “My dad was always there for me and my brother, and I want my kids to have the same kind of dad – a dad they will remember. Being a dad is the most important thing in my life.” – Kevin Costner, actor

15. “My dad is my idol. He used to work two jobs and still came home happy every night.” – Magic Johnson, basketball player

16. “I hope I’m at least half the dad that he didn’t have to be.” – Brad Paisley, musician

17. “He was the first man in my life, the man who taught me how to love.” – Jenna Bush Hager, TV personality and daughter of former President George W. Bush

18. “My dad, like any coach, has always stressed the fundamentals. He taught me responsibility, accountability, and the importance of hard work.” – Steve Young, football player

19. “We see a McDonald’s. We got so excited. We start chanting, ‘McDonald’s, McDonald’s, McDonald’s!’ And my dad pulled into the drive-thru and we started cheering. And then, he ordered one black coffee for himself . . . and kept driving. My dad is cold-blooded.” – John Mulaney, comedian

20. “My daddy? He was somewhere between God and John Wayne.” – Hank Williams Jr., musician

21. “I feel like you don’t realize what it means to be a parent until you become a parent of your own. Then you feel this tremendous guilt and have this urge to apologize to your father. You just don’t realize what you’re doing to your parents in every aspect of life.” – Max Greenfield, actor

22. “I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.” – Sidney Poitier, actor

23. “My sisters and I can still recite Dad’s grilling rules: Rule No. 1: Dad is in charge. Rule No. 2: Repeat Rule No. 1.” – Connie Schultz, columnist

24. “What makes Will the best father in the world to me is that he’s there, not just there in a way that’s traditional. The emotional support he offers his children is immeasurable.” – Jada Pinkett Smith, actress

25. “My father taught me that the only way you can be good at anything is to practice, and then practice some more.” – Pete Rose, baseball player

26. “He was a father. That’s what a father does. Eases the burden of those he loves. Saves the ones he loves from painful last images that might endure for a lifetime.” – George Saunders, author

27. “I know that I will never find my father in any other man who comes into my life because it is a void in my life that can only be filled by [my father].” – Halle Berry, actress

28. “He never stopped trying to save the world.” – Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan

29. “He has always provided me a safe place to land and a hard place from which to launch.” – Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton

30. “I had watched my dad climb into the biggest arena and succeed. I wanted to find out if I had what it took to join him.” – George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States

31. “I think that my strong determination for justice comes from the very strong, dynamic personality of my father . . . I have rarely ever met a person more fearless and courageous than my father . . . The thing that I admire most about my dad is his genuine Christian character. He is a man of real integrity, deeply committed to moral and ethical principles. He is conscientious in all of his undertakings . . . If I had a problem, I could always call Daddy.” – Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights icon

My favorite part about finding these dad quotes is there’s something for everyone. Many of them are quite funny, others are very sweet and sincere, and a few show how crazy some dads really are! No matter the occasion, it’s always nice to share a quote with dad.

I hope my two-year-old daughter, Adley, will do this with me someday. And if she really loves me, she’ll agree with legendary journalist Tim Russert: “The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.”

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  • Author

Aaron is a stay-at-home dad for his 2-year-old daughter, Adley. Before taking the leap, Aaron spent 12 years as an investigative reporter working for TV stations across the country. You… Read more

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